Adds updated outlook, CEO comment
HELSINKI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Finnish elevator maker Kone KNEBV.HE on Wednesday reported higher than expected quarterly profit, which it attributed to improved pricing and efficiency, and lifted its full-year outlook.
The company is seen as a potential bidder for the elevators business of German industrial group Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE and its strong result comes amid reports it has offered around 15 billion euros for its German rival.
Kone's third-quarter adjusted operating profit rose 17.6% from a year ago to 322 million euros ($358 million), beating the average forecast of 309 million euros collected by the company from 20 analysts.
The company also beat analysts' sales expectations, with its sales up 11.7% to 2.56 billion euros year-on-year and its received orders up by 9.6% from a year before, leading it to lift its full-year sales outlook for this year.
"I feel confident about the coming year, given our strong and improving competitiveness, solid order book and growing service business," Kone chief executive Henrik Ehrnrooth said in a statement,
Kone said its sales are estimated to grow by 5-8% at comparable exchange rates this year as compared to 2018, instead of a previous estimate of 4-7%.
The company also lifted its full-year adjusted operating profit range estimate slightly, to 1.19-1.25 billion euros from 1.17-1.25 euros previously.
"Orders received continued to grow at a good rate across regions, and the margin of orders received improved for a second quarter in a row," Ehrnrooth said.
Kone shares were up 1.8% at 10:00 GMT.
($1 = 0.8994 euros)
(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Susan Fenton and Alexandra Hudson)